Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
I have black mold on my windowsill. Is this the black toxic mold that I have read about?
Although toxin producing molds such as Stachybotrys chartarum and several Aspergillus species produce black colonies, there are many other black molds that are much more prevalent in the environment. Among some of the more common molds whose growth may appear black are Cladosporium sp. and some Penicillium species. Although most common environmental molds such as Cladosporium sp. are not toxin producers, they (like all molds) are considered to be allergenic, and must be removed from the indoor environment if they are found in significant numbers.
I have mold on my walls. Can’t I just spray it with bleach or paint over it?
Simply treating visible mold growth with bleach or painting over it will not get rid of the mold problem. In order to eliminate a mold problem from the indoor environment, the cause of the mold growth itself, namely excess moisture, must be eliminated before the mold itself can be removed. Once the moisture problems have been fixed, specific steps for the abatement of the mold must be followed. Since allergic reactions to mold are caused by exposure to the protein in the mold spore, regardless of whether the spore is dead or alive, the spore itself must be removed from the environment.
What are some of the symptoms of exposure to excessive levels of mold?
Since all molds are considered to be allergens, most of the problems associated with exposure to excessive levels of mold tend to be typical of allergic-type responses, such as respiratory distress, coughing, sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, and asthma. Long-term exposure to molds can also result in Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis, a chronic inflammation of the lungs that causes severe respiratory problems. Although these problems can occur in anyone exposed to mold that is hypersensitive or allergic to the mold types present in the environment, they can be particularly severe in the very young, the elderly, and anyone who is chronically ill or immunocompromised.
Are Certified Mold Inspectors better trained to conduct mold inspections?
When determining who should do your mold inspection and sampling, be sure to inquire as to the background and expertise of the person doing the assessment. There is no certification for mold inspectors that is recognized by any governing bodies at this time. When choosing an expert to do the mold assessment and sampling, be sure they have the background and technical expertise and experience to perform the work correctly. Generally, microbiologists, industrial hygienists, and environmental chemists with extensive experience in environmental mold sampling and analysis are best equipped to evaluate any mold situation and make the appropriate recommendations for remediation.
Besides mold, what other contaminants in the environment might be causing my symptoms?
Mold, mold spores, and the toxins they produce are not the only agents responsible for causing allergic reactions in susceptible people. Dust mites, dog, cat, and insect allergens, endotoxins, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can also cause a variety of illnesses in many people. If it has been determined that no mold problem exists in an indoor environment where people are exhibiting symptoms of respiratory illness, it may be necessary to increase the scope of the investigation to include testing for some or all of the above potential allergens.
For answers to specific questions please contact us at (360) 576-6331; (503) 384-8682 or email us info@mold-investigations.com
For further information visit the links below:
http://www.epa.gov/mold/
http://www.cdc.gov/health/mold.html
http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/epi/moldrpt1.shtml
http://www.oregon.gov/DHS/ph/envtox/mold.shtml
http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/molds/

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

I have black mold on my window sill. Is this the black toxic mold that I have read about?

Although toxin producing molds such as Stachybotrys chartarum and several Aspergillus species produce black colonies, there are many other black molds that are much more prevalent in the environment. Among some of the more common molds whose growth may appear black are Cladosporium species and some Penicillium species. Although most common environmental molds such as Cladosporium species are not toxin producers, they (like all molds) are considered to be allergenic and must be removed from the indoor environment if they are found in significant numbers.

I have mold on my walls. Can’t I just spray it with bleach or paint over it?

Simply treating visible mold growth with bleach or painting over it will not get rid of the mold problem. In order to eliminate a mold problem from the indoor environment, the cause of the mold growth itself, namely excess moisture, must be eliminated before the mold itself can be removed. Once the moisture problems have been fixed, specific steps for the abatement of the mold must be followed. Since allergic reactions to mold are caused by exposure to the protein in the mold spore, regardless of whether the spore is dead or alive, the spore itself must be removed from the environment.

What are some of the symptoms of exposure to excessive levels of mold?

Since all molds are considered to be allergens, most of the problems associated with exposure to excessive levels of mold tend to be typical of allergic-type responses, such as respiratory distress, coughing, sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, and asthma. Long-term exposure to molds can also result in Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis, a chronic inflammation of the lungs that causes severe respiratory problems. Although these problems can occur in anyone exposed to mold that is hypersensitive or allergic to the mold types present in the environment, they can be particularly severe in the very young, the elderly, and anyone who is chronically ill or immunocompromised.

Are Certified Mold Inspectors better trained to conduct mold inspections?

When determining who should do your mold inspection and sampling, be sure to inquire as to the background and expertise of the person doing the assessment. There is no certification for mold inspectors that is recognized by any governing bodies at this time. When choosing an expert to do the mold assessment and sampling, be sure they have the background and technical expertise and experience to perform the work correctly. Generally, microbiologists, industrial hygienists, and environmental chemists with extensive experience in environmental mold sampling and analysis are best equipped to evaluate any mold situation and make the appropriate recommendations for remediation.

Besides mold, what other contaminants in the environment might be causing my symptoms?

Mold, mold spores, and the toxins they produce are not the only agents responsible for causing allergic reactions in susceptible people. Dust mites, dog, cat, and insect allergens, endotoxins, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can also cause a variety of illnesses in many people. If it has been determined that no mold problem exists in an indoor environment where people are exhibiting symptoms of respiratory illness, it may be necessary to increase the scope of the investigation to include testing for some or all of the above potential allergens.

For answers to specific questions please contact us at
(360) 576-6331; (503) 384-8682 or
email us info@mold-investigations.com

For further information visit the links below:

http://www.epa.gov/mold/
http://www.cdc.gov/health/mold.html
http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/epi/moldrpt1.shtml
http://www.oregon.gov/DHS/ph/envtox/mold.shtml
http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/molds/